7.6/10
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Le Boucher (1970)

Le boucher (original title)
An unlikely friendship between a dour, working class butcher and a repressed schoolteacher coincides with a grisly series of Ripper-type murders in a provincial French town.

Director:

Claude Chabrol

Writer:

Claude Chabrol (by)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stéphane Audran ... Hélène
Jean Yanne ... Popaul / Paul Thomas
Antonio Passalia Antonio Passalia ... Angelo
Pascal Ferone Pascal Ferone ... Père Cahrpy / Uncle Cahrpy
Mario Beccara Mario Beccara ... Léon Hamel
William Guérault William Guérault ... Charles
Roger Rudel Roger Rudel ... Commissaire Grumbach / Inspector Grumbach
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Storyline

Butcher Popaul meets schoolteacher Helene at a wedding in a small rural French village. They become friends. But girls are murdered in the area and Helene finds at the scene the lighter she gave Popaul... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Boucher See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed at Tremolat, Perigord, in October 1969. See more »

Goofs

When the blood from a murder victim drips down onto a girl from a cliff above, the hand shown dripping the blood looks fake. See more »

Quotes

Hélène: [Walking through a cavern] You must understand that the instincts, the feelings, and even the intelligence of Cro-Magnon man was definitely human. The only differences to the problem were his needs to survive.
Student: What does "survive" mean?
Hélène: It means to stay alive. He began to draw. Do you know what we call desires when they lose their savage quality? Aspirations. If Cro-Magnon had not survived, the world in which we live wouldn't exist.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sneak Previews: Take 2: The Best Films of the '70s (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Plaisir D'Amour
Music by Johann Martini (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

A rather Special Pilgrimage
17 June 2011 | by jandesimpsonSee all my reviews

Way back in the mid '80's we took a family holiday in the Dordogne where we devoted one day to a rather special pilgrimage. With the aid of a map the village of Tremolat was not difficult to find. Tremolat - the name evokes that most magical of village locations for probably our favourite and certainly most oft watched French film. On arrival what surprised us was an absence of tourists and coaches. Surely this would be like Oxford as it is now with its "Morse" tours; but with people discovering the location of the butcher's shop, the school with Madamoiselle Helene's little flat above, the church, the cemetery, the caves. But fifteen years after Chabrol made his most unforgettable film there, no one had got round to organising a "Boucher" tour. It was a case of making one ourselves. We were excited and in no way disappointed. Everything was there and we were even able to retrace the exact walk that Popaul and Helene had taken in that memorable tracking shot from the wedding party to the school in the village square. The location of the butcher's shop, although a domestic dwelling was clearly identifiable as was the school which was in fact the Mairie. As the latter was a public building we were able to enter and even mount those very same stairs only stopping when we reached the door. Beyond, an office perhaps, so we didn't break the spell by trying to enter.

Claude Chabrol died last year so this reminiscence is by way of being a belated tribute to the French director who, with the possible exception of Francois Truffaut, has given me the most pleasure over the years. I have caught up with much of his late oeuvre only in the past few months and have to confess to being often disappointed. He made far too many so there are quite a few potboilers. But way back in the crossover period between the late'60's and early '70's he made those three extraordinary psychological thrillers that are among the glories of French cinema - "La Femme Infidele", "Que La Bete Meure" and finest of all "Le Boucher". The sound of Popaul's soft cries of "Madamoiselle Helene" coming out of the darkness and the image of Helene standing alone by the river and silently staring ahead are unforgettable moments among so many. Thank you, Claude Chabrol, for the lasting pleasure of your three greatest films and for "Le Boucher" in particular.


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